Published News Health & Medicine

Popular heartburn drugs linked to gradual yet 'silent' kidney damage

Taking popular heartburn drugs for prolonged periods has been linked to serious kidney problems, including kidney failure. The sudden onset of kidney problems often serves as a red flag for doctors to discontinue their patients' use of so-called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are sold under the brand names Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium and Protonix, among others.


Mysterious Brain Disease in Children Tied to a Popular Fruit

Since 1995, hundreds of poor children in Muzaffarpur, India have mysteriously suffered seizures and feelings of brain fogginess, usually in the morning. Many would soon die. This happened every year between May and July: In 2014, for example, Muzaffarpur hospitals admitted 390 kids with the symptoms, resulting in 122 deaths.


First human-pig 'chimera' created in milestone study | Science

Scientists have created a human-pig hybrid in a milestone study that raises the prospect of being able to grow human organs inside animals for use in transplants.



It marks the first time that embryos combining two large, distantly-related species have been produced. The creation of this so-called chimera – named after the cross-species beast of Greek mythology – has been hailed as a significant first step towards generating human hearts, livers and kidneys from scratch.


New organisms have been formed using the first ever 6-letter genetic code

Scientists have engineered the first ever 'semi-synthetic' organisms, by breeding E. coli bacteria with an expanded, six-letter genetic code.



While every living thing on Earth is formed according to a DNA code made up of four bases (represented by the letters G, T, C and A), these modified E. coli carry an entirely new type of DNA, with two additional DNA bases, X and Y, nestled in their genetic code.


Scientists just announced our best shot at ending antibiotic resistance to date

Scientists have developed a molecule that reverses antibiotic resistance in multiple strains of bacteria at once, making it one of the most promising advances we've had to date in the fight against superbugs.


An Indian Biotech company claims to have developed potential Zika vaccine

The World Health Organisation has declared Zika and its suspected link to birth defects a global health emergency. More than 20 countries in Latin America have reported an outbreak and a rare case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sex has been reported in Texas, USA.

As the world searches for a vaccine and other global companies take first steps on research, the Bharat Biotech International Limited in Hyderabad says it has patented the Zika vaccine.

Protein 'handbrake' halts leukemia in its tracks

Melbourne researchers have showed that they can stop leukemia in its tracks by targeting a protein that puts the handbrake on cancer cell growth.The researchers discovered that targeting a protein called Hhex could cure acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in preclinical disease models, and could be a key target for new therapies for human leukemia.

cancer cells

Image: Giovanni Cancemi/Shutterstock.com

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Light-activated nanoparticles kill over 90% of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Salmonella, E. Coli and Staphylococcus infect some 2 million people and kill at least 23,000 people in the United States each year. Efforts to thwart these so-called "superbugs" have consistently fallen short due to the bacteria's ability to rapidly adapt and develop immunity to common antibiotics such as penicillin.

bacteria

Image: NIAID/Flickr

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